Wanna have some nerdy English teacher fun? Of course you do! Continue reading

We went to the corn maze this weekend and an actor (I hope) chased my family with a chainsaw. On Saturday, I was shopping at the farmers’ market when a college kid in zombie makeup jump-scared the crap out of me. And hubs and I just decided on our front porch Halloween night decor – a single red balloon should get the job done.

In the spirit of this pre-Halloween scarefest, here are my 10 favorite lessons to bring The Creepy into our classrooms: Continue reading

Ready to dig into some nuts-and-bolts of essay writing? Let’s talk about how to help our middle school and high school students write strong intro. paragraphs. Note: This format works great when teaching literary analysis, argument, and research essays, but narratives are a whole different story. (Heh…see what I did there?) Continue reading

As part of my occasional series on how I teach writing, today I’m presenting a mini-lecture that can be used by both middle school and high school English teachers to help our kids understand theme Continue reading

Want to amuse and motivate your kids? Let’s build a Famous Failures bulletin board! Continue reading

New(ish) teacher Kelli was wondering this week how to help her middle schoolers slow down and gather their thoughts before writing. Our email conversation led me to build this free set of tools that’ll hopefully help all English teachers. Continue reading

She was pretty and quite bright. He was handsome and charming but not so smart. Together, they were the golden couple of the freshman class. She was in my 2nd period; he was in 5th, right after lunch.

A few months into the year, I noticed something peculiar. She, let’s call her Sandy, did well on my vocab. quizzes but often missed one or two questions. He (“Danny” seems right) always bested Sandy’s score. It was weird. Sandy was focused, a model student. Danny? Not even. Continue reading